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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  June 2, 2012 2:00am-6:00am EDT

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me. people say there is too much partisanship. i don't see it. but the magnets are moving to the right but the republicans are moving faster. i am repressive democrat the president is a moderate democrat. i would set up health care why do you need private insurance companies? maybe there is a flood, but maybe there is not. everybody knows you would see a doctor. but from my point* of view
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single-payer is the answer. . . hour.
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[applause] how is everybody tonight? pretty good? thank you very much for the generous and kind introduction. it's a pleasure to be here. and now, this is my seventh vote
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. [inaudible] [laughter] is that better? this is my seventh look and i have had people introduce me a book signings before. thank you very much for that introduction. sometimes people are a little bit confused, maybe a little nervous when they introduce. i remember this one person has said, we are so glad he's here tonight we're going to see this new book. it is a wonderful book. i can guarantee you that if you put it down, you'll never pick it up. [laughter]
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that's what he says. and i remember once in the senate is the energy natural resources committee and the chairman of the diaphragm louisiana named ben johnson. secretary henry kissinger was testifying on the geopolitics and the chairman of the committee ephedra so glad you're here, dr. kissinger. and i are going to make important contributions to this committee's work. and i want to say to the committee members here, dr. kissinger spoke, memoir has just come out come the 804 pages. i must tell you, dr. kissinger, i find it full of insights. and i want to say to members of the committee, just be careful. do not read it when you're in bad because if you fall asleep and hitch are they, you it. [laughter] so tonight, i will talk a bit
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about the book about the book of mildew questions and answers. and you can take it anywhere you like to take it. the impetus for this book was really, like many americans, last done or, i witnessed the debt limit to buckle and i witnessed the fact we were still in two wars on the other side of the world and i was aware of the difficulties that the middle-class in this country, not just for a few years, but the media meant come in 2010 was the same as it was in 1996. and for the last 25 years, basically stagnant. and i found last summer people coming up to me, maybe because i've been in the senate politics for a while. and said, do you really think that anything is going to get done? i'm feeling hopeless.
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and so, i tried to read a book. i'm just a citizen. i don't have my hands on the levers of power. i'm just a citizen, just like you. so what can i do? well, the one thing i can do is bring whatever experience i had to bear on the moment and talk to the american people as best they could. and that is what i've tried to do. and i want to remind the people that we've had difficult problems in the past. depression after depression. we've had wars. there've been times in the structure of our democracy just does not work and we've overcome them and move forward. and i want to tell people, remind them that political institutions are flexible enough to allow us to try our own
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future. and i also want to remind them of something i talked about when i ran for president back in the paleolithic era, that there's a goodness in the american role in that goodness, this hopelessness has to be the foundation upon which government policy is built. for example, if these and the nonprofit sector's gift to someone else with no expectation of return and the private sector is performed, then the best of government takes the accountability of the tour of the passion and commitment of the nonprint effect your and that government comes to have to do great things for the people of this country. and so, people ask me, what do i miss about being in politics? i really miss two things. i miss not doing public-policy
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24 hours a day. i miss that. that is why books like this one and try to feel that void. the second thing i miss are the people, quite frankly in all their shapes and sizes, their hopes, fears, and train, anxieties. i miss that. when you're in the senate included all the time. people put to your partisan and that when you run for president amplified 100 fold. and i tried to fill that void with a radio program today due unserious xm satellite radio called american voices. the premise is that one to hear the kinds of stories that appeared for 40 years on the road as a basketball player and
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a politician crisscrossing america. the kinds of stories i've heard from americans. and so they really oiled down into two kinds of stories. one is a story about people who have an unusual job. the guy that washes windows in new york city skyscrapers are public housing or her groundskeeper at fenway park in boston. and although stories and i've done over 300 shows. all of those stories are stories about the dignity of work and about the fulfillment won han in doing something well, whatever that is. and so, i wanted to write about that. chapter five is called celebrating selflessness, which
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is as i said it's got to be vegan diet foundation for anything else we do. and what kind of stories? well, sorry the guy guy who shined shoes at the children's hospital for 46 years and he put a portion of that tape in the fund to pay for the purchase health care in the day i interviewed him, he put over $100,000 in to that fund to the goodness of the american people. and then there's the lady outside of chicago. she had a great chicago accent is important in the radio. and she has an 11-year-old son who had cancer. and she's in the hospital and got a lot of letters in the heart but of. and then when he came home, he got the letters. and he asked his mother one day,
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mom, did not sin sending me letters because they think i'm going to die? and so come his mother started sending them letters and she would sign the letters, a secret pal on a bad week when he was really sick at home, three letters. i'm a good beacon school having a normal life come at least one letter. when i she came into the kitchen and he was there writing on the kitchen table at u.n. over. no, not for you, mom. and he continued writing, folded it up, put it in an envelope and give it to his mother. would you give this to my secret pal? and she started to open it. he said no, no, for my secret pal. so she put him to bed, came back out. what would you do? she opened the envelope, took out the piece of paper. and if that, i love you, mom. [laughter] about four months later he died
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and she went into his closet and did the most difficult thing that a mother can do, which is to clean out the closet of the deceased child. and the flora that causes she found a shoebox. and in the shoebox she found all the letters from his secret pal organized chronologically. and in the bottom of the shoebox she found the address of all the kids there were two decades that cancer can't the previous summer. so as a tribute to her son, she wrote every kid did not book a letter, trying to buck them up like she tried to back up her sign. an amazing thing happened. she started getting letters from people. getting letters from people all over the country. thank you for writing to my next-door neighbor here in kankakee. i have a cousin in iowa city was
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a child. could you write to them? could you write here, could be right there? she got such a response she started an organization called love letters. and in over 10 years she wrote over 4000 letters to kids with cancer all across this country. now that's the goodness of the american people. and we have politics in battles and we'll get to that in partisanship and polarization and real issues that will determine the future of this country. but we must never forget that there's a goodness out there that we are generous people, and tweet it with no expectation of return often. and when we do that, we are at our best. whether it's raising the bar with your neighbors in the early years or writing letters to kids with cancer today. i know a guy from the serious axon after he done about 20 shows he said what he going to do when you run out of people like this?
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[laughter] he doesn't get it. it's america. i'm never going to run out of people like this. so, that is really why there's no impetus to write the book. was the inspiration? the inspiration and the title comes from abraham lincoln's second state of the union message. it's 1861. the worse then going on about a year. it's not going well for the north at about 16 months away months away from the emancipation proclamation and mccain sends this address to congress. one of the great addresses in american history is full of so much great stuff. two or three sentences caught my attention as i was thinking about the book. he says, he's speaking to the congressmen, senators in the middle of the civil war. we can only succeed a concert
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working together. it is not in any of us imagine better, but can all of us to better? and that is a relevant question. when you look out and see the fragility and inequality of the economy, the direction of foreign policy, the paralysis of the national dialogue, that is a legitimate question. can we all do better. we know we have to be at our best if we are going to meet the challenges our country faces. we know each of us has to be at our best. and that of course is the next level of the title. it is not simply, can we politicians are politicians and people in washington do better? the answer is self-evident given our circumstance. but the question is, can each of
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us to better? and that might mean some very simple things in your life. our politics today is about between two competing cutbacks. the ethic of caring, collective action associated with democrat and the ethic of responsibility, individual action, republicans. and that is what campaigns are. it is already shaping up that this is what it's going to be this year. i hope the presidential race is about the future, not the past, the. is. it's beginning to be that same thing. when the truth is and i do think we need politicians who put country ahead of party and tell people the truth. the truth is that we need both collect his caring individual responsibilities. steakhouse. well, we need collective caring
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to make sure everybody has adequate coverage and has a chance to see a doctor when they are sick. and we want to assure that in this country. individual responsibility would say, how are you doing taking care of your own body by what you read, but how much you exercise? and remember, the healthier you are, the less you will cost the health care system and the more money that will be available to cover other people who don't have health insurance. so it takes both. take pensions. social security. 35% of the elderly defense, they are older and calm -- on the income is social security. so collective caring is that we have to make social security solid for years and years to come, generations to come. but individual responsibility would say if you want a retirement with more than just
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social security, you have personal responsibility to say, if you don't save enough, you're not going to have as good of a retirement if he would say. the point here is, we need those individual responsibility and collective caring if were going to really deal with the problems we face in the country. and as i said, the challenges we face require each of us to be at our best. and yet, our faith as individuals, even if we are at our best depends on our national community. we are all in this together. so, i decided when i was writing the book that i couldn't talk about everything. i had to narrow it down a bit. so i narrowed it down to three subjects. one is the economy, particularly with reference to what we can do to get more jobs and better pay
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and revive our sense of upward nobility in the country. and i try to do that in the book with an analysis of what i think we should do in the short-term, midterm, long-term if you're interested i can go into it my questions and answers. but it basically boils down to saying that you have to make sure that we raise all boats, not just some, but i'll post because that is fundamental to who we are in this country. and once we lose that, we have lost the optimism that characterized our country from the beginning. we have lost the hope for a better life. and none of us wants that. so we need to do a few things. we do those two things, we'll be right back. so i talk about the economy. i also talk about the foreign
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policy and the major point of the chat her is to say the 21st century is going to be about economics. an art economy will be increasingly about economics. the 20th century was about war and military action. that's not going to be the case. we need to make sure we get at the terrorists made a great many of the nl and forces that we need to coordinate space, that the fundamental point is that how our economy performs will determine our future. and how do we lead in the world? i argue we should lead by the power of our example of a
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pluralistic democracy with a growing economy to take everybody to higher ground. the quiet view, the founder and former prime minister of singapore says in the 21st century, the winner will be -- in the 21st century, intelligence will determine the winner in the global competition. he said in china has a talent pool of 1.3 billion people to draw from. he says the united states has a talent pool of 7 billion people, meaning everybody in the world because we are an open society, unlike most societies. we invite people of talent to come, to pack this, to take us all to higher ground. and as long as we preserve that, we are going to be fine.
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and i talked a little bit about china and the context of the last decade. i talk about the last decade, what have we done? we have fought two wars. that is where her talents, our thinking power of people who are smart went. that is where our tax dollars went. that's were too many of our lives went. but what about the chinese? in the decade we were doing that, they were laying the groundwork for economic leadership in the 21st century. how? if you things. chinese have in the book plans to have high-speed rail lines going from china down to singapore, southeast asia across central asia, turkey, across siberia to moscow and then to
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berlin. once those lines therein, the resources of that whole region can be to china. the dams would be in the himalayas on the very slight macron for the irrawaddy of the family pooch or a. the rivers of funds that the asia and asia a building that stands with an ability to regulate out water will have an influence in the region without firing a gun shot. but what about the chinese real estate tycoons. goodbye 200 square kilometers in iceland. have a nice about what you to buy 200 square commenters? i want to build a resort.
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well, think about what might he want? nasi ahuja and how they are two months ago with the leader of china. iceland said no to the perch as. that's the first ways. why is that important? why should it be important to us? because as global warming accelerates and the polar ice cap melts more, the shipping route over the north pole will be open 12 months here, not four months here. and iceland said between europe and the united states, right on the shipping lines. so the chinese are thinking long term. they are thinking about what the world should look like. now we have 40 million people in this country listening to "american idol." they had 100 million people.
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100 million people listening to a 12 part, one hour each series about the rights of nations. so we have to wake up. now, this is scott for me most starkly on the front page of "the new york times" on october 29 of last year. two stories, side-by-side. first story. europeans go to china four at two ask for investment in your rescue funds. the story went on to say the chinese would consider, but they want changes in sanction policy of the wto, the world trade organization had the effect of deadly blasts sanctionable. the story of the versioning economic power and using its muscle in the world. buried next to it was a story that said western business or
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investment in libya. what was that about? ballads about us taking over us picking over his latest mideast adventure while the chinese are thinking of the next 50 years. and we have to understand this talk about at all income americans and getting our to grow, about being on the cutting edge of technology he. this isn't just about our internal domestic life. this is about leadership in the world and we must not forget that. i'm sorry to talk about this. then the last story would be the political system. the political system in the united states suffers from two major flaws. one is gerrymandering, were redrawn to send. only 50 are competitive. the rest are 6040.
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the rest to 45. i don't even have to listen to the republicans. but as you have to worry about somebody on my last run in a primary against me. a republican has to worry about symbian is right. and so we played to the narrow primary constituency. we don't come to the middle to deal and make the compromise in order to the buyer collect his economy forward. second problem and this is a significant one, that is the role of money in politics. when i ran for the senate of new jersey for the worst time in 1978, i spent $1.68 million. john corzine, who took the seat in 2000 took $63 million. extrapolate that to the whole political system and you get an idea of what's happening.
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why is this happening? well, because of the courtesy of the supreme court. what do i mean by that? well, let's go back a little bit provocative too much time to get questions that you want to go on. well, richard nixon, watergate, try scaring satchels of cash around. congress have raised, country have raged for a minute on campaign spending appealed to the supreme court 1976 says you cannot limit the amount of money that a person's been in his or her own campaign because to do that is to limit a person's right to free speech. now today, if you decide you want to run for congress, what is the first thing the congressional committee is going to say? can you raise the money? so we know that the guy who says
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i can write the check has got the advantage and today, 47% of the congress, only 9% on the rest of society. but that was just one aspect. in 2010, supreme court made another rolling back reverse the law that had been in existence since teddy roosevelt put it in a 1907. a good republican. and that law prohibited corporate contributions. well, building on a robber baron supreme court interpretation 1886 is that corporations are really people, the supreme court and 2010 senate that because corporations are people under the law and you can't limit the right to free speech of a person and money eliminating we do that
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come you can't limit the right to free speech of a corporation. the corporation spends as much money as it wants and politics. the disenchantment, the birth of the super packed. the next six months will be an of money,. it will be revolting to see it. guwahati began to see it. you read in the newspaper about this one guy who's going to spend $100 million on broadcasting lies about barack obama here -- just the beginning. republicans will spend a lot more. democrats will spend some. the point is, how does that affect us all clinics in this access because the money distorts the work that politicians in washington need to do for the people. for example, in 2009 and 2010,
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the financial industry contributed $318 million to politicians in washington. the health care industry contributed $1459 to politicians in washington and the energy industry contributed $75 million. so, is it any surprise that we got a watered down -- a watered down financial reform bill that did not take the action is sure that led to the $2 billion over $3 billion mistake we heard at a major bank in the united states and alaska are the days? the health care industry, is it any surprise we didn't get a public auction to private insurance companies? we didn't even get around to an energy bill. so, there it is.
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so, i was think when you're in these kinds of situations you have to look at yourself. that's what i mean that we can all do better. in 2008 on that election night in chicago, we made a mistake of believing that a leader can renew the country all by himself, even somebody that touched our hearts as much as barack obama couldn't do it alone. it took citizen, sergeants, lieutenants, people who are going to go in the country and spread the word. and ultimately in this country today, given the experience of the last couple of years only reminds us that democracy is not a vicarious experience. and in the internet age, when the arab spring is deposing autocrats in the middle east,
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you can't have a pass in this country. in the internet age, apathy should not be an option. i mean can you say zero well, the forces are so great on never been in a period just look at our history. in the 1830s comic or people said you know, slavery is immoral. we've got to end it. call the abolitionist. in the eastern 80s, group of people said women not to have a right to vote in this country called the savages. and the 1950s, somebody said african-americans at the same rights as everybody else in this country. civil rights workers. in the 1970s, somebody said we have to clean the air and clean water. environmentalists. on each of those occasions, it was on a congressman or senator who had this idea. it was a citizen movements, a group of citizens that decided
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they were going to shoot the country, and they did. so, i think ozark thing for us to think about as we look not only at this election, that the next four to eight years. two groups, tea party, occupied. the tea party is different in many, many ways. tea party had very specific objectives. rollback governments, well-funded. had a very clear strategy to win congressional races. in 2010 day when 43 seats in the united states congress. the 43 t. party republican. in summer of 2011 and speaker
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boehner and president of that an agreement in principle for a deficit reduction package of 3 billion to $3 trillion, those 43 t. party republicans reject today and almost brought the country to bankruptcy. they say the pc party. because of money and focus they made it happen and brought us to where we are today. see the guy who won in indiana, defeating dick lugar, great united states senator, happen to be a republican. the tea parties said the air of confrontation has begun. my idea's success democrats support my position. such ignorance. we wouldn't have a constitution without compromise. that is the only way we move to
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countries diversions forward. occupied. have a great slogan for the 99%. i pointed out a very important issue. income inequality in our country today was not adequately funded, did not choose to have a specific objective and did not choose to get involved in congressional races. there's now 11 ready to brooklyn. the result was there it is. they're not a factor. tea party is dominant. again come you cannot underestimate the difference in money here. now, the last point i want to make is occupied had a lot of passion. tea party had very specific object gives him a reach for the
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levers of power. occupy didn't reach for the levers of power. and it's in both of those, passion and knowledge come together when we make real progress. the 1960s. that martin luther king jr. had a moral vision and a soaring dream that touched millions and millions of americans. in order to make that dream permanent in the law of the united states, he needed a politician named lyndon johnson who knew how to pull the levels of power to get the country to do something that before was not prepared to do. so my point is, we live in a time where problems are real. we have the means to solve our problems and this means rest within each of us. we never forget the selflessness of the american people.
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there's very specific and see what to achieve before them. he clear about what our interests are in the world and then when it comes to money, there's only one in there. we need a constitutional amendment that says federal, state and local government may limit the amount of money in politics. that is a central cost is for serious about making a real difference in this country and returning our politics to the people. thank you very much. [applause] okay, well i'm prepared to do some questions if you'd like to ask me questions just for a while. but i may tell you is like to do the questions. raise your hand. i'll call you if you asked me a question and i don't know the area or i think it's a silly
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question. i make fun of you an annoyance to your question. [laughter] have your lives want to politician tell you? [inaudible] >> when you said a few moments about ignorance, why don't you just call up misinformation? [inaudible] could you comment please on the stellar citizen and quiet [inaudible] >> asking the question was can i comment on the stellar citizen ralph nader? i think he has done enormous things as a citizen i think public citizen has had major impacts. in fact can i send him a box of these books. is that i'm going to give in to my friends. and i said, thank you very much.
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so i saw him three weeks ago. yes, sir. [inaudible] >> well, on the first point i cannot help you. i'm a second point, the answer is a constitutional amendment. you cannot get around these rulings. you do anything to declare it unconstitutional. you can possibly do something that had genuine public financing. i sorry that purport to be a constitutional amendment. the federal government may
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limit -- may limit the federal, state and local government may limit what they spend on political campaign. that is the key. now, when you do a constitutional amendment it goes to the states commit three quarters of the states has to do it. many people will resist another reach a critical point and i will very quickly. this happened the 19th century. in the 19th century, corrupt state legislators that were controlled by railroad, banks and oil companies send corrupt senators who were on the payroll of brothers, if satirist to washington and the people rose up and said no, we want to elect u.s. senators. they had to amend the constitution. took them 10 years, but they
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did. so don't say it is impossible. it is possible. it depends on the genius in the red and thousands of brands across the country and that the internet you have never had more power. yes, sir. >> our mutual friend, phil waldman congratulates you in your new book. and i love your title, "we can all do better." my question to you is a new york legend, [inaudible] which team is better? >> that answer is very simple. dr. jay was played once or twice an exhibition and die, you know,
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i did not regard to two jay. he is clearly time one of the greats and a very nice human being, someone might meyer. yes, ma'am. i [inaudible] >> what do you feel was your biggest achievement? the second part is q. was there any corruption there? [laughter] >> i think the when i was in the senate if i was going to say what was the biggest legislative moment it was in 1986 from 50s to 20 week and a lemonade at the polls in the process it was
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achieved with bipartisan support. i was kind of the solid. i rubrics and talked about it. i talked about this death. every speech i made further three years. so much so that one night as on a television program recorded on thursday, broadcast and then they put our daughter came on and are still watching myself on television in those days and said senator bill bradley. i said to my daughter, she said that's going to be on tv. she had a little friend who was with her. come on, let's go. he's going to talk about loopholes. so, you need that kind of single-mindedness. so would never have happened without ronald reagan as president who is committed to it. i once had a meeting at the white house when of the two times i met ronald reagan's, sitting around a table. they would say what was that
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like? mr. president, i know you're interested in tax reform because when you are not turkoman commercial tax rate was 90%. i said i'm interested in tax reform because in basketball my contract made me a depreciable asset. [laughter] so, the point is that would be the thing that point to legislatively in terms of a big legislator. i talk about what warms my soul. i was a little program that i created in 1992 with congressman jim leach, and other republican that brings kids who are in high school, between her junior and senior year from russia, kazakhstan, other republics of the former soviet union and so far we have had nearly 30,000 kids have gone to that program and i think that is transformed extech patients are people's impressions the united states
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and i think impressions of russia. and when i meet these kids, i love them. they're so optimistic and they have such a commitment. i could tell you story after story, but maybe i shouldn't. thank you very much. >> the defense budget is coming under a lot of scrutiny with the budget crisis. would it be proven to reduce the money we spend on arms as a way to make a defense budget smarter and more effect if? >> i haven't seen the numbers in the budget in 15 years, but i think that a sufficient nuclear nuclear weaponry to detert. i don't seventieths another 15 s. i know we need to reorganize our defense structure so it's not the same as they had in the cold
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war. but his stories are real threats we face in terrorism being one. had to do that by having a strong navy and having a.to the land forces. the major issue for the national security will be the help of our economy. if our economy does overcome you can't produce the money you need to spend to defend yourself. okay, you spend money to defend yourself, then you have to cut to programs that are important to our basic living in terms of infrastructure, education, health care, social security and i think that's not where we want to go. now come you're going to have to do some of those cuts and the giant budget deal, but not simply because their economy is not going. yes. >> readies s-sierra economic recovery coming from that so many of our jobs are outsourced. you cannot buy a tool and also
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the flood of low-cost labor is undermining construction jobs. >> okay, i think that's a good question that basically gets a chance to talk a little about the economy and i appreciate that. i think the highest priority is to create more jobs in america at higher income and there's reasons why there aren't as many. in the last 10 years we closed 40,000 factories, lasix pillion just because because outsourcing. technology replace millions of other jobs because you don't need as many people to do their jobs. product to the ds, the mock of representation of workers and labor unions have had the impact on the level of wages and salaries. so what do we do? short term we've got to get people working. and some of them say they give a
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tax cut, like we cut social security little bit. i think we have to be much more specific. i think we have to say to a company to hire another worker and don't lay off anyone, the federal government will pay 30% of the cost of the worker for two years. an first-come, first-served. capita $50 billion. and that means no one billion-dollar -- not 1 dollar would be spent. midterm, right now on the books of nonfinancial corporations in america are $1.8 trillion. that's in cash and liquid assets. if 20% of that was used to hire people in this country, unemployment would be 5%. when you ask ceo scott letcher hire more people come in to uncertainty about the future
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we've got to have a rainy day fund. the figures on unmet demand that they are if we produced enticed by wages there will be people buying 10 times more. and so, those are the two. if you deal come you got to do with what that does and you deal with the first significant deficit reduction. not now or next year, but in the out years to do that by changing entitlement programs, defense programs and tax policy. and once you do that and you see the deficit coming down long-term come to you then won't have to buy as much money. and right now we've borrowed $1.4 trillion. guess who from? the chinese. but the chinese wall has a billion dollars. so what we do is get them to guide united states reconstruction bonds. we want to trillion dollars over five years, creating 5 million jobs and the construction sector, doing the things
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insisting high-priority projects in this country that we desperately need to do to lay the groundwork for economic growth in the 21st century. such things as high-speed rail lines, if the airport is still they come and air traffic control system is the same it was the 1960s. a couple people in the town looking at red dots moving across can do a lot better than that. so those are one of the things that a support for us to do and the lasting as long term. we have to change the way we tax employment. they know 40% comes from taxing employment. social security tax, medicare tax, unemployment tax. we need those programs desperately, but we don't need to put the full burden on someone who's going to hire somebody. instead of taxing people on the planet, we should be taxing
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gains. we should be taxing plastic sort aluminum. we should be taxing inefficient buildings, inefficient cars. we should be taxing even a non-labor, not the workers, value-added tax and use that money to fund social security and medicare and unemployment compensation, thereby putting in place a tax system that encourages people to hire as opposed to one that discourages people to hire. yes, sir. >> how would you start the media and engage the factor? we know the numbers. how do we -- [inaudible] 9.7, 16.8, they all come to a dead end. nobody wants to cover this.
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how do you engage in these two make things work? >> i don't think it's just engaging in the media. the media has, and the internet age the media has less and less impact and also refer to named and people listen only to the states and cable channels that reinforce their own views. there's no commonality, no walter cronkite the telephone is the the same thing. we're told different things by different television stations. there've been times in american history when political points of view have been irreconcilable break before the civil war comes to mind. but absent that, we resolve our conflicts through political combat it is vicious but a lot less. i one of three things ultimately
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happens. one party wipes the floor with the other party. that's the way it works when lyndon and one in 1964. or come you have a narrow majority, which is what we had during the 18 years that i was in the we continue to have today. and the only way that she move forward is that bipartisan cooperation, tax reform 1986 as an example, where people come to the middle and compromise. if we are in a situation where the radical right has captured the republican party and they will not agree, if we are out of time where we can't get agreement on the really important things come in at 5% of the budget that goes from one group of citizens to another group of citizens, that i
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believe it's quite possible you can see the emergence of a third congressional party, not nader and perot running for president. that is a nonstarter. but in a congress where there's safety competitive districts set of 435, you could have 50 candidates running with the very specific objective, constitutional amendment, that infrastructure amendment changing the tax system, deficit reduction, very specific. and those 50 people come at a random 21, those with the operator full power in the united states congress and really began to make trade about the only four things we want to get done and if you want our vote for the communications though on this amendment, are you committed to the constitutional amendment? and then you find, potentially that group able to shake up the system and bring some people but
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to their senses. the other option is the following. president obama israel acted. we had this big train wreck about to happen on january 1 if there's no deficit reduction on defense and the taxes back to the old rate and the taxes back up on social security. so this is a critical vote. and here, i would a president obama would take a page out of lyndon johnson's playbook. i think the president and his staff could identify the 20, 25, and maybe even 30 republicans in the house by temperament, education, background, know that they are doing the wrong thing to be supporting the tea party.
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and then, i would, if i were the president, certainly in my staff know more about those people than their mothers. [laughter] i would know who they seek advice from. i would know how many prisoners they had. i would know what they do on their vacations. i would know who their first grade teacher was. i would know who the big his misses were in their community. i would know who their chief fundraisers are. and i would call them in one by one, those 30 to the white house. give them lunch, drink one or two birdman or coffee or whatever and tell them the following. your country needs you. you are republican. i am a democrat. on this vote on this gigantic package that will help determine the future of this country, i
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need your vote. there're too many bad things that cannot and if been if we don't get this passed. you know that and i know that. so please, as a patriot, give me your vote. i would rate about 10 days. and if i call them back and then, can i have your vote? said he thought about it in this critical moment in our history? and if he said no, i don't think i'm going to do that, i would call his mother. [laughter] >> before you call my mother, i have a question. i think something like 70% of our national economy is based on consumers and it seems to me that our consumerism is
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consuming us, not just a citizen, but as the nation. now if a politician, you can't get up there and say you want to create new jobs. we have to alter our relations and gumption. but i don't know how you resolve a guide bank to see this awful paradox that our consumerism is profoundly distraught to and you have to create new jobs. you have to promote and encourage consumers. >> that's a very difficult dilemma as you know. i think there's two sides. you need to save money for you consume. the united states is one of the worst saving countries in the world. we are the greatest consumer in the world. so just as china has to a bus and can do more mawhinney to consume less and save more. you can do that at the national level by running a budget
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surplus or you can do that at the personal level by saving more. i think that would be the first and most important step to take. in terms of getting people to buy less, you know, i don't think that in the wake of 9/11 when president bush said the way we do with this crisis is to go and buy something at a mall with an adequate response. i think their wares a deeper question there and that was who we are as a people. and here i think he wanted shift from consumption more to investment and investment in people. ..
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>> sell the scheme as reflected in the monthly reports has to do with the up dex of consumer confidence -- index of consumer confidence. that's how we're told as a people we're feeling about ourselves, and i don't know how you shift that to investment in people opposed to the consumer problems. >> well, i think that consumer confidence is just one of the measures that you have when you're saying how the economy is moving. it's an example of whether people are going out to spend,
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but, you know, these statistics that we now know adequately reflect the structure of our opportunities, in my opinion. two more questions. you pick them. [laughter] yeah, yeah, you pick them. [laughter] okay. let's go right here in the red. yes, ma'am? >> [inaudible] >> okay, in the book i talk about that a little. i lay it out. i kind of think it's worth exploring. i mean, for a penny or two on every trade, you end up with $200 billion to $300 billion a year. now, the guys at the computer trading won't like that because they make a million trades a minute. are we all going to be worse off because of that? i don't think so. i think we need banks that lend
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money to real businesses. we need more of that. we need less of people passing pieces of paper to each other, and the person who goes down is the one who has the paper when the music stops. [laughter] yes? >> what do you like about the obama administration and what don't you like? >> what do i like about the obama administration? i like president obama first of all. [applause] i like what he's tried to do. i think he was dealt the worst hand of any president since franklin roosevelt. we had two wars. we had an economy in free fall, a financial system that was cratering, and he did a pretty steady job. people say he's too calm. well, you needed somebody calm in those months, and he did a pretty good job. you can argue the stimulus should have been bigger.
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i mean, for example, if it was the same z the percentage of gdp to the chinese, that's $1.9 trillion opposed to $788. he should have done public financing when he was first in office. i think he's reset our foreign policy, i think hillary clinton's done a great job as secretary of state, and i think that we're now a part of a world community again, not lone rangers out there, and i think he started the capacity to touch our spirits. i think that's the end of the second question. [laughter] thank you very much. minutes.
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[applause] >> let me say that's more than a quarter of a century. i'm a little older than that, but it's a real pleasure --
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okay. it's a real pleasure to be with you all. i heard a lot about the blackburn institute and the nix lectureship, and i'm very honored to be a part of this distinguished group. i wanted to talk a little bit this evening about some of the things that really shaped my own life in my own philosophy. you know, i was one of those people who kind of knew what i wanted to do from very early on. mentorship was always the thing that interested me. if there was ever a story on television or on the radio about medicine, i was right there, just like a magnet. i even liked going to the doctor's office. [laughter] what caught my attention was church, and they frequently had stories on about missionary
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doctors, and these were people who were great personal expense traveled all over the world to bring physical, mental, and spiritual healing to me, seemed to me the most noble people on the face of the earth. i decided at 8 years old i was going to be a missionary doctor, and that was my dream until i was 13. [laughter] at which time having grown up in dire poverty, i decided i'd rather be rich. at that point, missionary doctor was out, and psychiatrist was in. now, i didn't know any psychiatrist, but on television, they seemed like rich people. you know, they drove jags, lived in big fancy mansions, big office, and all they had to do was talk to crazy people all day. [laughter] it seemed like i was doing that anyway. i thought this was going to work out extremely well, and i started reading "psychology today," and i was the local shrink in high school, everybody brought me their problems, and
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i'd stroke my chest saying "tell me about your mama." [laughter] i was gung ho. i was going to be a sigh psychiatrist. then i met some. [laughter] i'm kidding. some of my best friends are sigh psychiatrists. i discovered what they do on television and in real life are two very dimplet -- different things. what they do in real life is more important than what they do on tv. it was just not what i wanted to do. i had to say, now what? i said, well, what are you really, really good at? i believe god gives everybody special gifts, and i stopped to analyze my own gifts, and i realized i had a lot of io-hand coordination. i was a very careful person,
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never knocked things over and said whoops. a good characteristic for a brain surgeon, by the way. [laughter] i could think and see in three dimensions, and i loved to dissect things. that coupled with the love of the brain, and i said, you would be a natural in the neurosurgery, and some people thought that was a strange occupation for me because at that time, there's only ever been eight black neurosurgeons in the world, but, you know, i never really stop to think about things like that. i stopped, and i thought about where do you fit? turned out to be a very excellent choice for me. you know, i started out as an adult neurosurgeon, but i very quickly learned that no matter how good an operation you do on those chronic back pain patients, they never get any better until they get their settlement, whereas -- [laughter] whereas with children, you know,
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what you see is what you get. you know, when they feel good, you know they feel good. when they feel bad, you know they feel bad, and, you know, here's the thing. you know, you can operate on a kid for 12, 14, 16 hours, and if you're successful, your reward may be 40, 50, 60 # years of life. whereas with an old geezer, you operate on them, and they die in five years of something else. you know, i like a big return on my investment. [laughter] i'm just kidding. i like old people. [laughter] actually, i'm one of them now. [laughter] actually, a large part of my practice now involves a condition that affects primarily older condition. it's a painful condition of the face, and it used to be called the suicide disease because the pain was so bad. we have the ability to get rid of that pain. i'll tell you r there's nothing
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like seeing somebody have their life turned upside down and be able to do a procedure and all the sudden they have their life back. really, you know, that's what medicine is all about, being able to intervene at times like that and make a difference. now, before i go any further, i want to take just a brief moment for a disclaimer. you know, everybody makes disclaimer these days. have you noticed that? i belong to this board, i'm associated with this group, and therefore, take everything with a grain of salt. well, what i have noticed in recent years is that it's now virtually impossible to speak to a large group of people without offending someone. have you noticed that? you know, when i was a kid, you know, they used to say sticks and stones break my bones but words never hurt me. kids don't hear that phrase anymore because people walk around with their feelings on their shoulders waiting for
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somebody to say something, and then they can say, did you hear that? they can't hear anything else you say. i was talking to a group about the difference between a human brain and a dog's brain, and a man got offended. he said, you can't talk about dogs like that. another time i talked to a group about how the fashion industry's gotten the young ladies to think they are supposed to be skinny. they look like they e caped from a concentration camp, and a jewish man got offended saying you can't mention concentration camps. that's too sensitive. that's like if i would talk to you about slavery. i said, talk about that all you want it doesn't bother me. some people choose to get offended. this is my disclaimer. it is not my intention to offend anyone here, and if vine is offended to that -- is offended to that, i got to tell you i don't really believe in political correctness, and, in fact, i actually think it is
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a very destructive force that's in the process of ruining our nation. i talk about this is lot in my latest book "america the beautiful," but think about this. a lot of the people who founded this nation came here trying to escape from people who tried to tell you what you could think and what you could say. here we are reintroducing it through the back door, exactly the same thing. it's absolutely absurd, and really, the emphasis should not be on unanimity of speech and unanimity of thought. the emphasis should be on learning how to be respectful of people with whom you disagree, and if we would begin to do that, then we could begin to have intelligent, rational dialogue. how can you have real dialogue
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when you can't even say what you believe? you can't even say what you mean. you have a necessarily artificial conversation. our society is now full of artificial conversation, and it's one of the republicans that we are making -- one of the reasons that we are making very little progress, and i think it's something people have to get excited about once again, recognizing that, you know, our society is changing quite dramatically right now. there is a very secular segment that is trying to change the nature of our society. they have employed political correctness as a means to mute
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discussion on what's being done, and the only way it can be combated is that people have to learn how to speak up because there are few people with microphones and podiums who impose their will on the rest of the people to the point that in this nation where all of our coins and all of our bills say "in god we trust," we are afraid to say "merry christmas," i mean, how did that happen? the only way that kind of thing happens is when vast majority of people allow themselves to be controlled by a vocal minority. you know, you think back to nazi germany. most of those people did not believe in what hitler was doing, but did they speak up? no. they kept their mouths shut.
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you see what happened. we're in the process of watching a lot of things that characterize our greatness go down the tubes because of passivity, and when people start revving things up a little bit, like the tea party, they get labeled as anarchists and crazy people because there is an establishment consistenting of democrats and republicans who want to maintain the status quo and want to maintain their power and to grow their power and to grow their intrusiveness, and they don't want anybody to say anything about it, and that's really what is lot of the political correctness is all about. you'll read about that in great
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detail in my newest book, but, you know, i had this tremendous dream of becoming a doctor, but there were problems along the way. not the least of which was the fact that my parents got divorced early on. that was devastating. some of you have been through that. you know what i'm talking about. anybody out there is thinking about getting a divorce and you have children, please think about it again. please ask yourself, wait a minute, am i being selfish? you know, that's the same person you loved and adored not too long ago, and most divorce they start thinking about themselves and not about the human, not about the family, not about the child, just a little food for thought. at any rate, you know, my
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parents got dwofted, and, you know -- divorced, and, you know, in this particular case, my mother discovered that my father was a bigamist and had another family. i don't think she had another choice there. she only had a 3rd grade education, and there she was faced with the prospect of raising two young sons in inner city detroit with little money and little education. we ended up moving to boston to live with her older sister and brother-in-law in a typical neighborhood with boarded up windows, violence, gangs, and boast of my older cousins who i loved were killed, and i never can wanted -- expected to live to be beyond 25 years of age because that's ha i saw around me at the time. it was never money or anything. you know, we'd go to the store, and my brother and i wanted jaw breakers, and we asked my mother
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if we could get them, and, of course, the answer was always the same 678 there there was noy for that. she wanted to get it for us, but the look in her eye just was too painful so we stopped asking. we didn't want to see that look in her eyes anymore. as difficult a life she had, and she worked two to three jobs at a time as a domestic, cleaning other people's houses because she didn't want to be on welfare even though she just had a 3rd grade education. she was very observant, and she noticed everyone she saw go on welfare never came off of it. she said i don't want to go on it. i don't care how long and how hard i have to work. as difficult as her life was, she never adopted what i call the victim's mentality. she never felt sorry for herself. i think that was a good thing. problem was, she never felt
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sorry for us either. [laughter] you know, there was never any excuse that we could give that was adequate. she would just say, do you have a brain? if the answer was yes, then you could have thought your way out of it. it really doesn't matter what john or suzie or anybody says. when people don't accept your excuses, you stop making them and you look for what needs to be done. i think that was the most important thing my mother did for both my brother, kurtis, and i, and i think also, you know, the poverty, the hardship that we faced was not such a bad thing because we had each other. we were happy even though we were very poor. i really don't think money brings happiness.
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it's, you know, purpose and family, and, you know, thinking about others. those are the kinds of things that bring contentment and happiness, and people who focus their desires upon material things are destined to be disappointed in the long run, and, you know, i told my three sons as they were growing up that they were much more disadvantaged than i was because they got to travel all over the world, do things, never had a need for anything, and i'm not sure that that's healthy so my wife and i trieded to create artificial hardship for them in order to hard p them up -- hard p them up and make them ready for the world, and i think that actually worked out pretty well. one's an engineer. one's a vice president of a
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wealth management firm. one's an accountant. nobody wanted to go into medicine though. they all thought i worked too hard. it was okay as long as they become productive members of society, and that's really our goals for them, but at any rate, you know, as a 5th grader, i was not doing particularly well in school, and i think we may -- do you have any 5th graders here today? oh, yeah, okay. you guys look intelligent. you look like you're doing very well. i was terrible. in fact, my nickname was dummmy, and all the other kids liked me in the class because i was known as the safety net. you never had to worry about getting the lowest grade on a test as long as i was there, and i remember we were once having an argument about who was the dumbest kid in the school, and it was not a big argument.
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they all agreed it was me, but someone tried to extend the argument to who was the dumbest person in the world. i said, wait a minute. i said there's billions of people in the world. they say, yep, and you're the dumbest one. to add insult to injury, that day we had a test for the person behind you to correct it, and teacher called your name out loud, and you had to report your score out loud. not a problem if you had a 100 or a 95, but a problem if you got a 0 and you had an argument about who was the dumbest person in the world. i said, oh, boy, they are going to laugh when i say that. i started scheming. i said, i know what i'll do. i said, when she calls my name, i'll mumble. the teacher will think i said one thing, and the girl behind me will think something else. when she called my name, i said -- nah.
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she thought i said 9. i knew you could do it if you applied yourself. she ranted and rated, and the girl behind me stood up and said, the -- he said none. they all stouterred rolling, and if i could have disappeared, i would have gladly have done so. i didn't. i was there acting like it didn't bother me, but it did. it bothered me a lot. not enough to make me study -- [laughter] but it bothered me a lot. i was just one of those kids. up fortunately, there's a lot of those kids still around even today. you know, i have a program at the hospital that brings in 800 students at a time. i show them slides of what goes on in a major teaching hospital,
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research hospital, and we talk about human potential, and i let them ask me questions, but sometimes i ask the questions, and i remember asking once, i said, how many of you can name for me five nba players? do you know virtually all the hands went up. i said, what about five nfl players? all the hands went up. major league baseball players, all the hands went up. who can name five nobel prize winners? out of 800, ten hands went up. i said, leave your hands up, i'm going to call on one of you. all the hands went down. what's that tell you? well, you know, this is the information age. the age of technology. who can tell me what a microprocessor is? they were weary. a young man raised his hand and said a microprocessor is a tiny
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processer, and that was it. that was the extent of his knowledge. extremely superficial, and, you know, that is really quite troubling because one of the implications of that kind of ignorance, you know, there was a survey, some of you might be familiar with it in the 1990s looking at the ability of 8th grade e equivalence in 22 natios to solve so-called complex math and science problems. we were one of the 22 nations, and we came in 21 of 2 # barely beating 22. it was neck and neck. that's very serious. in the age of technology, the information age, we produce 70,000 engineers a year in this nation, 40% of whom are foreigners. china produces 400,000 in any given year. you know, this is serious stuff.
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we're talking about the future, and our role in the future. we need to begin to make adjustments. we need to make them quite soon. we can't sit around just being enamored by sports and entertainment. i shouldn't say that at the university of alabama, but -- [laughter] you know, i think you get it. i think we all get it because we are the pen kl nation in the -- pennacle nation right now. there's another before us. ancient egypt, greece, rome, great britain, france, spain. pennacle nations, number one, no competition, going to be there forever, they thought. where are they now? what happened to each and every one of them? basically the same thing.
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they became enname moried by sports and entertainment, rich and famous, turned a blind eye to political corruption, lost their moral compass and went down the tubes. people say that can't happen to the united states. i think an honest assessment demonstrates it's already in the process of happening, and the real question is can we be the first pennacle nation to actually learn from those who proceeded us and take corrective action unless we still go down the same destructive path. that is really the question. i personal believe that we can. that was the reason why my wife and i wrote our whraitest book, "america the beautiful." we can. we can make a difference because we are different. this nation is the child of
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every other nation, therefore, we should have the interest of ever other nation at heart. .. that's impossible. how could a fledgling nation be
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doing that. so he wanted to come and affect and see what the heck was going on over here. while he was here he said, that did look at the school system and he was blown away to see that virtually anyone finishing the second grade was completely literate. i mean, he could go on, not man who could read the newspaper and who could have a decent political discussion with him. he had never seen anything like that before. you know, go into some method to museums and looking at some of the letters written by people on the frontier in the wild west, unit think a college professor had written those letters because of the vocabulary and grammar of the way it was done. there is a lot more emphasis in times past. if you really want to be blown away, get a hold of a six grade exit exam for the 1830s. there are questions in "america the beautiful," from the look
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from the exit exam. see if you can pass the test. i doubt most college graduates today can pass that test. we have dumbed things down to that level. why is that so important quiet because the founders of our nation made it very clear that for our type of government to succeed, it required a very well-informed and educated populace. they said without doubt that would have they would have ever expanding government that will eventually take over the lives and the functions of the people. that is why it is so important. and it is not too late for people to educate themselves, to actually know what is going on
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so that you cannot be easily led by some pundit on television who tells you what you are supposed to think, you are supposed to like, you're not supposed to like. we have reached a stage for a lot of people go into the voting booth and the only thing they are looking forward is a name that looks familiar to them. we don't know a lot about them. yeah, i'll vote for that one. that is irresponsible. that is not what the intention was. the intention was for the people to be very involved and very important. you look at how things have changed dramatically. the forefathers were smart people, but they have been anticipated everything. for example, they looked at a system of government with an executive branch and the legislative branch and the judicial branch.
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and that comes from the book of isaiah, by the way. as a lot of things in our government, it was a judeo-christian basis for the establishment of our government. but, it worked very well for me that it was established. what they did not anticipate was the fourth branch of government, which we now have commotions grown very grown very big and very powerful and that is called special unchaste. and why did that occur? well, the way was initially set up, he was sacrificed to go into government. and therefore, it was anticipated people would want to stay there for the rest of their lives. you know, they would go, sir, go back to their community. someone also common. the biggest change to not people want to save for their lives than they need money to do that and they have to establish relationships with powerful
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financial entities. and that cannot be done without quid pro quo. hence, you have the establishment of a matter branch of government, which is very powerful and his stories the will of the people. i would go so far to say that virtually anything that makes no sense is because of a special interest group behind it. those are the things that people have to find ways to change. well, at any rate, i will tell you, i did not remain the dummy in the class because my mother with her third-grade education was determined that i would succeed and that my brother was six feet. she did not do. she asked got together with some. and god gave her the winston, at least in her opinion.
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my brother and i didn't think it was all that wise. turning off the tv, what kind of wisdom was that? as far as we were concerned him without his was child abuse. she said we could watch two or three programs a week. with all the spare time we had to submit to her written book reports, which she couldn't read, but we didn't know that. sure to check marson highlights and underlines and we would think she was reading them, but she wasn't. you know, i was not very happy with this as you might imagine in the beginning. but you know, after a few weeks, i actually began to enjoy reading those folks because we were desperately poor. it didn't cost anything. between the pages of those books i could go anywhere, be anything. i would imagine myself conducting experiments. i began to know anything within the space of the year and half away from the bottom of the class to the top of the class must the consternation people
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used to calm a dummy. they used to say, danny, newark this problem? i would say saddam might be coming youngster while i show you. but it's also good to say that. the key thing was i had a very different impression at that time of who i was. then i had an insatiable appetite for knowledge. you never saw me without a boat. i went from being called me to being called bookworm. even my brother would say benjamin, put your book down and eat your food. i was always reading and what each man this difference it made. it is one of the reasons my wife and i started the carson scholarship fund. it has two aspects. help yourself to go to the website. carson scholars.org. i don't have much time to go
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into it except to say we would go into schools and see all these trophies. what about the academic superstar. what about this? what do they get? pat on the head. they are, and their little merit. nobody cared about them. they never got much. so we started trying to put them on the same kind of pedestal as the all-star athletes, giving them the same kind of recognition. but the other thing we did is putting reading rooms and all over the country because there are a lot of students who come from homes where there's new books and then they go to school where there is no library. what are the chances of that individual loving to read? and we know there is a strong correlation between those who were able to read well and
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success in our society. and we have to make every effort that we can to change that fast. we can't just let it gradually change because we are under the gun right now. i made a mention of that survey. there are other nations that are advancing much more quickly than we are. and we have to be incredibly serious about this and engage. so, i ask you. tonight, go to carson scholars.org. get involved because we have to change this if we are going to survive as a pinnacle nation. you know, the other aspect of our scholarship fund, in order to even be considered, a child has server 3.75 grade point average of 4.0.
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most of them have no. they are very, very smart kids. but they also like to have humanitarian colleagues that they care about other people. they can't win unless they have demonstrated that for more than just the six weeks before the application and then has to be sustained humanitarian activity. why is that so important? well, this nation is the humanitarian nation. think of that anytime there is a disaster, who is first in line to give money? to give supplies? we are. and it's always been that way. you can even go back to the very earliest parts of our nation. you know, europeans were looking on us and they were saying, those americans are just crazy. if that, i mean, look at the catalogs and the vanderbilt and
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the carnegies and the melons on the rockefellers. the suit will have enormous amounts of money and nobody has any money. you can't have a system like that. that doesn't work. you need to have an overarching government that collects the money and redistributes the wild in the way that he sees fit. in other words, the united states of america was responsible for socialism because we were the ones to inspire them to do that. but you know, they made one miscalculation. they have found that those names i just mentioned are like the rich people and their nation who just accumulated wealth into themselves and passes down from generation to generation. but all those things i just mentioned poured enormous amount of wealth back into
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infrastructure into building factories, textile mills, created an environment that then spurred on the most prolific middle class the world had ever seen. they also created foundations, charitable organizations, schools, hospitals. that has been the nature of wealth in america. and to test nine, 40 of the wealthiest families in america pledge to give away half of the wealth. call any country have been asked about the families to give away half of their wealth. go look at you like they you have three heads. it is very important that we do not extinguish it with class warfare. that is very -- a mental dividing people up in any way, no matter who does it and for what purpose.
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that is not what allows strings together. a wise man once said a wise man divided against itself cannot stand. so when we start talking about fairness, what we need to do this all get together and ask ourselves, what is fair? in my opinion, god is fair. and what did god say? he said i want to tie it. he didn't say if your crops fail you don't own me anything. so there must be something very fair about proportionality. you make $10 million, you give a billion. you make $10, you get one. why is that complex? will some people say it doesn't hurt to give a billion. why do you need to hurt the guy who just put a billion dollars
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and? i mean, it is that kind of thinking that has created 602 banks in the cayman islands. that's craziness. and we need to just abandon. but we do need to do though is make it a fair system, we don't have a bunch of loopholes and ways for people to get out. and you know, it's time for us as a nation to sit down together and figure out how to get this done in a truly fair way, not picking one group and pick another group. they are truly not fair and that's really not the american way of the pit one group against another in order to gain political power. these are all things that were talked about in detail by the founders of our nation. i hope you will get the new book and read it because i put all
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the quotations in may. my wife did all the research. this is not rewritten history. this is what actually happened and that established a nation that is so special. why do i think america is so special quiet for hundreds of years, for thousands of years before america came on the scene, people did things the same way. within 200 years of the establishment of this nation, and then were walking on the man, completely changed the course of mankind and that the world, taking the three down, i'm pretty new or should, and it carried that established this nation. and we cannot allow that to disappear for months. wow, you think that now that i am stood at, everything is going to go well for me. wrong.
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when i got into high school a ran for the worse thing a person can run into at its call for peers. his call for people who encourage errors, rudeness and stupidity. they tell you the clothes you should wear it and be hanging out and i got caught up in sf in a way for a student to be to see student. i didn't care because i was cool. i waited a whole year before my mother was able to give me understand that without which she were on the outside, but which do not appear in any difference. they were calling me nerd and poindexter and uncle tom, but i would shut them up by saying what thing. let's see what i'm doing in 20 years and the sea which are doing in 20 years. they must've believed me because they all voted me most likely to succeed. that means they knew what was necessary to succeed in there at true trifling to do it
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themselves. that is the negative peer pressure is. unfortunately, it is not restricted to just high school. define negative peer pressure in all aspects of trying to control your life, trying to control your behavior. your abnormal that we've got to learn to think for ourselves and to notify word and a logical way and not in a political way that would make up the difference in the world. but you know, when i did get back on track, there is one overriding thing i wanted to do. i wanted to be contested on my favorite tv program comanche college ball. anyone remember ge college all? it was my favorite program that came on every sunday at 6:00. he pitted two colleges against each other and asked about history, geography and i was good at all that said, but they also asked questions about classical art and classical
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music. there is no way you're going to learn classical art and classical music at southwest high school. in my high school if you said van gogh, they would say put gas in it and the van will go. they had no idea what you're talking about. so i made an executive decision i would go down to the detroit institute of art at day after day, month after month and study every picture, listen to my portable radio, just thought i was nuts. i mean, a black kid it placated motown listening to mozart? to try to convince them, but no one is buying it. i even decided which college to attend based on one college. they won the grand championship in college ball. but the grand championship that year was between harvard and yell and yell just demolish harvard, so i don't want to go
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to school with a bunch of dummies, and i probably just offended someone. so fortunately they accepted me with a scholarship. the year i went there, however, as they are college ball in off the air so i didn't get to be on it. years later i decided i wanted to be a narrow surgeon and a light to go to plays best on from her surgery which of course has shone hot kids. the problem was they only took two people year out of 125 top applicants. how was i going to get to be one of them? when i went for an interview, fellow who was in charge was also in charge of cultural affairs at the hospital. we talked about medicine, neurosurgery and somehow it turned a classical music or attacked over an hour about conduct tours and composers, orchestras. he was on cloud nine. there was no way he wasn't taking me in the program. some people used to criticize me
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when i was learning the classical art in the classical music. they said that european history. that's not culturally relevant. but really, what does that term means? cultural relevance to the citizen of the united states of america. go to ellis island. go to that bcm. look at the faces on the wall of those pictures of people who came to this nation from every part of the world, many with only the things they could carry. people who work not eight hours a day, but 10, 12, 16. six or seven days a week. no such thing as minimum wage, so their sons and granddaughters might have an opportunity in this land. that is so culturally is relevant. hundreds of years they came in
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slave ships to work even harder for less. but they too had a dream that one day their great grandsons and granddaughters might pursue freedom and prosperity in this nation. and of all the nations in the world, this one, the united states of america is the only one big enough in great enough to allow all those people from all those backgrounds to achieve their dreams. and that is why every single one of us is culturally relevant to every single one of us. and that is why we are called the united states of america. and we would do well to recognize that our diversity is not a weakness. it is a tremendous blessing and a tremendous strength. i was asked once by an npr reporter. he said that person, i noticed
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you don't talk much about race. why is that? i said this because i'm a neurosurgeon. couldn't quite understand the relation. i said when i use the scalp and mouth of that era, and operated on the thing that makes them who they are. the cover doesn't make them who they are. it's the brain and makes them who they are. when you begin to think i'm that kind of a level about things and not just knee-jerk reactions to superficial things, a you become a different person and that's why we have the kind of brainpower. when i began to realize all those things made it very commenced very rapid career and i found myself chief of pediatric neurosurgery. all kinds of fabulous things began to happen. hysterectomy is, god dysplasia
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cases, tumors, conjoined twins. and my star grows extremely rapid play. but i am very, very grateful that i was born in this nation, where you can make true says and where you have the ability through hard work to control your destiny, where you don't have to be of the them unless you choose to be the same. and that's what i mean when i said think big. each one of those letters means something. the t. is for talent. i have nothing against sports entertainment, but we need to elevate academic achievement to the appropriate level and we've got to do it quickly. i think we have one generation. no more than that, to fix this problem we have to be serious. the h. is for honesty.
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leave a clean, honest life. don't put skeletons in the closet. if you're so the truth you don't have to remember what she said three months ago. i is for insight which is for listening to people who party gone from where you're trying to go. learn from their insights and mistakes. and as for nice. be nice to people because once they get over the suspicion of why you're trying to be nice, building a studio. and if you're a democrat, and wants you to make sure you're nice to republicans for a week. and if you're republican, make sure your advice to all democrats for a week. i know what you do get used to doing that because we have to learn how to work together. we have much more in common than we have apart. we need to understand what our principles are. what are the values? what do we stand for in this nation? not allow ourselves to be
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divided up by pundits who derive their power and their income by stirring up trouble among the people. we're smarter than that of me could do better than that. the k. is for knowledge, which is the thing that makes you into a more valuable person. a lot of cars enter tray. are they import? now, if they all disappear i don't know because it hit the mall.call us immediately. but what if that appear are the sacred before managed care. i'm not as solomon, the wisest man who after was. that does still get all dakotans were busy one. more important you understand the amount on the philippines. the most important thing is developing a god-given talents to become valuable to people around you. b. is for books, and a mechanism for obtaining a notch.
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it's never too late. another eventually tartar sauce to get a ged, ananda college in 1994 that are honorary doctors agree. so she is dr. carson now, too. the second is for eye,. the last letter, g is for god. would have been a country that is trying to throw god out. i think that is a tremendous mistake. many of the people that try to rewrite history fair founding fathers didn't really believe in god. they were two years. that means the cottages put things in motion and then the delay. but if you read their writings, which are in our new book, you will see that they were not ds. and i want you to think about days.
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our founding document, declaration of independence talks about inalienable rights given to us by our creator, a.k.a. god. the pledge of allegiance says we are one nation under god. many courtrooms say in god we trust. a frequent in your pocket, every pill bill in or what is in trust. our founding documents pledging our chorus and it's not our money, but were not supposed to talk about it. one of the world is that? in medicine may cause schizophrenia. does not explain what's going on in our nation today? doheny to make it clear it's okay to live by are the principles of caring about your neighbor? developing god-given talent to become viable to the people in deriving values and principles that govern our lives? and if we do that, we will truly have one nation, under god,
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indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thank you ram match. [applause] >> thank you very much. we have an opportunity for a few questions. there are some roving microphone similar site for you to use those so that everybody can hear the questions. i see a hand right here. >> hi, i'm just a trooper burke on may 2 and 5 from seattle, washington. you were appointed in 2004 for
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the bioethics committee by president george w. bush and he spoke earlier about how the u.s. inspired socialist son. i was wondering if he could take a second talk about ethical implications of universal health care and what your opinions are on that. >> okay. well, there is no question that we need health care reform in this country. we spend more than twice as much per capita for health care in this country as the next closest nation and yet we have access problems. and there is an enormous amount of waste and efficient the entire system. that is not going to be corrected quite frankly by throwing more money at it. it is corrected by doing intelligent things. for instance, if you didn't happen to me in birmingham, alabama versus new york city versus miami versus longe angeles versus detroit, different ways of submitting
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bills and collecting, all of which justified the nuns amounts of paper involved, all who have to be paid out of the health care dollar. it's absolutely craziness. when every single has sent pain on the icd-9 code, every procedure hasn't been in the cbd coat and with computers, which means it's all done virtually instantly with auto papers and people to push them around. special interest groups with mike that because some groups benefit from all of that. and you know, we have to be able to get through that and do things in an intelligent fashion. know what i would do because with the special interest groups who say some of the scrupulous and indicate the event to appendectomies instead of one so they can get their money by the way. those in medicine know there are very few positions that would do
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such a thing, but there are a few. instead of building a gigantic dropper say, why not just apply what i call the saudi arabian solution? why do people not still very much in saudi arabia? we cut off their lands. we cut off their fingers. well, i wouldn't necessarily do that, but there would be several penalties to doing it. and income you'd lose your license for life cominco to jail for no less than 10 years. lose all your personal assets. i don't think anyone but good at doing that. as proof of that, these have a tremendous drunk driving problem and about 20 years ago, they enact the goodness of your drunk driving penalties in the world and is uniformly applied and there is virtually no drug driving in sweden. there's ways to reduce penalties they have to be used across the board and they have to be consistent in their behavior
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does very quickly. also, there's a lot of other solutions that i mentioned in the book, "america the beautiful," but i think solve these problems quite effectively and get the cost down tremendously and provide actually better access than we have now. so what can be done. i think we should do it. i think we can do it and we could do it for even less if we do it in an intelligent and rational way. >> yes, she's coming with the microphone. >> i know attacked earlier about music i've never had the opportunity to ask you what is your favorite classical piece. >> that is a tough one because i love so many classical music.
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you know, my wife is a classical musician and when we were at home on friday night about this time out of the lane on the couch and should be playing that pn zero. it's just the cd. but i primarily like her wrote music -- barack music. i could listen to it all day every day. what was interesting some years ago when we are separating and south africa, these were facing in opposite directions and there's 13 attempts to separate twins like that before, none of which have been successful. we had embarked and it was extraordinarily difficult. we've reached a point where the blood vessels were so engorged
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and entangled we stopped the operation decided to go into conference. i suggested maybe we should cover the area with scanning comeback in a few but maybe they would've developed enough enough collateral the cookout through. the doctors should gambian south africa said we don't have the ability to keep partially separated twins alive. now i felt the weight of the world of the shoulders the supported set to you. i went in there with a scalpel and a prayer on my lips and i cut between the vessels that you could see the bubbles coursing through them. to make a long story short, when i made the final cut the separated those twins over the stereo system can the hallelujah chorus and everybody had goosebumps. and when we finish that operation after 28 hours, one of the twins popped his eyes opened, reach with an tube. the other did the same thing. by the time i got to the icu.
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within two days there excavated pyramid thing two days. within three days they were crawling. today they are thriving in eighth grade and doing very well. another question. yes. >> dr. carson, based upon some of the things you were discussing@ >> dr. carson, based upon some of the things you were discussing with politics in america government, sounds like you'd be in favor of implementing term limits and some other changes in washington. can you discuss that? >> well, yes i would very much be in favor of term limits, fully recognizing the argument that if people only have a couple years to serve, they never really get to know the system and their usefulness is limited. and i understand that and i appreciate that.
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and what i would do to solve that problem this gives people longer terms. you know, i would make the turn, you know, six, eight, even 10 years. but you can't be realistic. you can be recalled, give people the possibility of free calling every two years, but you can't be reelected. that would be a severe blow to the fourth branch of government. and i think that's the only way were going to get it done. now, how's that going to happen when the people in congress are the ones who get to vote on that? i'm going to say something very radical right now. it is going to a constitutional convention, just like we used to have back in the early days. that is what it's going to take because things have gotten so far out of whack that it needs to be readjusted and it's got to
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be readjusted before it's too late. any other? gas, young lady. and by the way, for those who don't know, we have young people here from restoration academy, which takes young people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and really tries to prepare them for the world. and you'll see at the top to send it asap people that they're doing a tremendous job. >> where does your brother curtis live? >> my brother lives in the atlanta area and he has an aeronautical and chemical engineer, works for parker aviation. so i became a brain surgeon. he became the rocket scientist. [laughter] i see a couple hands over here. >> you spoke a little bit leery about the big dance mentality.
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but steps or actions can be taken as a society to try to change the culture? >> okay, good question. how can we eradicate victims fatality? first of all, i think we have to continue to manifest the compassion that has always been a part of who we are. sometimes, you know, we have to go above and you have what want to do. you know, in medicine, for instance, some of you who are older remember, you never used to hear very much about indigent people not getting medical care. is it because there were no indigent people? no, it was because many years ago insurance companies didn't -- didn't have the ability to run roughshod over everybody. and you know, they had to take a decent amount for a new citation
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to is insured so that physicians have somewhat of a cushion and virtually all of them included a substantial number of indigent people bachrach s. and nobody said do about it. it was just something you did and something that was expected of you. and now they don't have the ability to do that because they run on such margins. but people have to find ways to do that anyway to get these people taken care of. dems and howdy -- that dems mentality is sent been stoked by many in the political arena in order to increase their own power. they want people to be dependent. they want people to be the dumbest so they can look to them as their savior and they can vote for that and keep them in power. it is exactly the wrong course of action to take. it would be to hold up in front
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of people good examples. for instance, there is an organization known as the horatio alger society. they select 10 to 12 people each year. these are people who came from horrible, horrible backgrounds and have achieved at the highest levels in our society. those stories need to be out there. that is what horatio alger used to write about, famous american writer rags to riches story. we need to help people understand that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you. it's not somebody else. and see, that is where you become a thick that when you start thinking that somebody else is in control of your destiny and that simply is not the case when you live in a free country. we have to make sure it remains a free country because, you know, it's getting more and more regulated and becoming less and
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less free. that is because the people have shrunken back. when the people shrink that, something has to fill that void and becomes government. people have got to become more vocal. no question about it. >> you spoke about politics than i actually just taken a job working in the library. i want you to talk about politics at the library. the trend in funding, as he said, exposing people to staff they don't have come which a library does. can you share some thoughts about god and the trend of funding to assist institutions? >> okay, well i can tell you -- what night where we at the library, can be? tuesday night at this week? we were at the main branch of the baltimore library. it was actually a thank you for
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candy and myself and some other philanthropists in the baltimore area who had done a lot for the library system. the reason i bring that up is because the libraries are so important we shouldn't depend on government. you know, we should take care of our own libraries in our own communities. people should get involved in something that cannot such a profound effect on the job people. but that stuff depending on the government to do everything. we can do this ourselves. if you go back to early america, where we had a large number of libraries established, they were maintained by the communities. we need to get back to doing that again. i think that is where we will have very successful libraries. and while we're on that topic,
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churches. why are churches taxed enough? because they are supposed to be doing stuff in their communities. they're not supposed to be social clubs. now we have a situation with the government competing with the churches and still giving the churches tax exemptions press the left stop being schizophrenic about it. it adopted the churches exemptions. i think if we get more people involved in communities like they used to be and caring about each other on a whole lot these problems get taken care than we can meet the government to do with the government is supposed to do. i see a hand over here. how many more questions can we take? tomorrow, okay. >> i know that the university of
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engineering colleges, they are working on technologies to help the surgeries. how do you feel about the impact of technology? >> iac neurosurgery changed tremendously on the basis of technology in the decades that i've been in the field. and it is about to take another giant leap. now we have tremendous imogene, but very soon we will have robots. there are already robust working in some areas of surgery. they are not quite refined enough to give neurosurgery, but that's only a matter of time. and when they are, the kind that means they will be able to do will be absolutely astonishing. and i will be too old, but i'll still be watching with great anticipation and making a few suggestions about it. it's very exciting. one last question.
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i'll let the people at the microphone make the choice so i won't be the bad guy. >> high, after teaching school across the street had benjamin s. carson, happen to cross gifted hands and read it and enjoyed it and i haven't read your most recent book, but it sounds like the two have taken on very different times and i'm curious if politics very near future now or where you are going from here. >> there's a lot of people who have tried to convince me that i should go into politics, but until the hand of god grants me and puts me in that arena, i will not do it. but i think there has to be some voices that cry in the wilderness to help wake people up. we are devoting, candy and night, a lot of money to education because we recognize
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that ultimately if our nation is to succeed, then we must be at the top and not at the bottom of the economic pile. so that is every bit as important as anything i could possibly do in the political arena. >> will boost your hardest surgery? >> there were so many that were so hard. i spent a lot of time praying. i might've looked like i was operating. [laughter] but one that comes to mind is actually he was an adult. his wife is a nurse on the pediatrics or is, so i could not escape her. he had something called hippo lindau, a genetic disorder that
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involves tumors that develop in different parts of the central nervous system. it turned out he developed one of these tumors in the middle of his brainstem. and no one on the adult side could come up with a solution. and his wife coming in now, i've been working with them for years and he said you do all these amazing things. you cannot bernama has been. i said that he's not a kid. she said he's a kid at heart. so, i talked to him and i said them you know, there is a 50/50 chance that you will die on the table if we try to take that to burn out. and he said something relatively profound. she he said there's a hundred% chance i will die if you don't
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take it out, so i'll go with the 50. during the operation that was very, very difficult, and the evoked potentials, these are like the electric waves break so that you have one for the higher, you have one for the brain. they went flat. the anesthesiologist who is not in favor of the operation the first place if you see that? to kill them. well, i wasn't very happy, but we did get the tumor out and request a map. we were rather somber. and the next morning he was awake and cracking jokes. he did perfectly fine. but i don't necessarily believe that some of those cases are on me. i always pray and ask god to help me. i asked him to give me wisdom. and he never let you down. and that is one of the reasons that my faith is so strong. all right. well, thank you all very much.
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